Liz is undoubtedly one of the central defining characters in this community and has contributed immensely to Shakti’s success. Liz brings a wealth of experience, education, positivity and hard work. She has a degree in environmental studies and a lot managing myriad projects in reforestation as well as other public and private and non-profit organizations. It also helps that she is hilarious, which is its own kind of currency around here. We’re so grateful to have had the opportunity to grow and learn with Liz.

Best you don’t take her up on a bet however, she can see the future. Or join an opposing team in pictionary, like it’s not even fun.


Ron Laverdiere makes Shakti what it is. Since 2015 his presence is luminous.  There are few people who embody the strength and commitment to any craft as Ron does to trees. Anyone lucky enough to who work with him knows this to be true. We’ve all been inspired by this from this, and from his patience, thoughtfulness, and grit.  Sincerest thank you, on behalf of all of Shakti staff, clients, equipment, and trees. 


If more people were like Katrina, there would be know wars and plenty for everyone and positivity. There is a cascading effect, when someone is bold enough to be themselves, to be honest, caring, and confident. I can’t think of someone doing that better than Katrina. Thank you, there is always a place for you at Shakti. 


Morgan teaches us, time and again, why Shakti does what it does. Her personality will turns our doubt into fun adventures! Her confidence and positivity wins hearts & minds, as well as competitions… she can plant most people into the ground. You are curious, clever, enthusiastic and fun. Thank you for making this the best job ever.


Martin Smith chose Shakti in 2017. He came and politely began organizing and managing projects very, very, well.  He was so young and yet extremely adept at management, I’m still afraid to ask how he does it for fear of interrupting some kind of mysterious equilibrium. I can’t remember him being wrong. He’s also fiercely committed to nature and being in the wild. Always a cool experience working with Martin.


Andrew Louis brings a lot to Shakti. With an open mind, Andrew can go into a challenging situation and very carefully and thoughtfully — do the right things. It’s an interesting strength because it doesn’t get the attention of say, being a highballer or extreme sporty stuff that tree planters are really into. Andrew’s superpower, of troubleshooting and looking critically at problems, goes a very, very, long way. Keep doing your thing Andrew. It’s obvious you care a great deal about those around you.


As a roll model planter, Teanna is also super funny, though at first she didn’t let it show for fear of not impressing Ron, which is hilarious on its own. She has other superpowers too, such as: reading-ability, knowing about nature, nutrition, and working harder than most men you will ever meet, for real.


David has the grit and ambition to do whatever he sets his mind to, and yet he chooses to spend his time with us, and we’re delighted 🙂  David is truly committed to the game, and that example pushes the rest of to really give it 110% (often).  Challenges are opportunities to learn, mediocrity is boring, it’s fun solving problems with you. That kind of enthusiasm and focus are the best superpowers, it’s totally a competition. 


Daniel Machar is the way to be; fun, smart, hard working, ambitious, adventurous, and just a cool person to hang out with. I don’t know if its his family that did such a good job, but they get to see him a lot. He’s always back home now, being super helpful I’m sure. We miss you. Please come back.


If you’re lucky enough to hang with Stephane, you’ll realize that he is as charming and complex a character as any you’ll find. He can be the most quoted person in camp without even being there. Everything he says is ironic or funny somehow. If the world was ending he’d make you laugh about it somehow. 

Oh and he’s planted more trees than anyone else in the world. I won’t say the number***, he’s so humble, but I honestly think he takes the cake, and he’s still going solid putting in huge numbers each year. You’re one in a bazillion.


The voice of reason among quite reasonable people, Woss brings more than sound judgment and eclectic music to the truck. He has cool hair, and plants a lot, a lot, of trees. He can also run a two pack like nobody’s business. Even up to three pack, but why spoil a great thing? You diligently maintain the optimal realm of responsibility (which we know to be 1.34 other people), reap the rewards and politely leave enough on the table to otherwise mind your own business. Why fight math? We can all learn a great deal from you.


Ever modest, Silas’ contribution should not be understated – he makes the wheels go round. He always shows up, always on time, always works hard, and puts in the extra mile. Even better, he’s very open minded, willing to try new things, and understanding of the endless trial and error it required to get the planting machine, super, super dialed. He’s also an all-star Dad, he’s there for everybody. Silas, thank you so much for your top quality hard work, we’re lucky to work with you.



Alex is the first web developer that Shakti worked with and he is still very involved and coming up with new and innovative ideas that make us all better off. He’s extremely focused on quality. If Alex does something you know it’s going to be an awesome robust solution. Definitely a well deserved place on Shakti’s hall of fame. We were very lucky to have met Alex when we did and always excited to see what he will come up with next.



A wily Shakti vet if ever there was one, Johannes Kroller is a man of many, many, tallents. He specializes in (no less than): trucks, motorbikes, Atv’s, drones, sailboats, commercial fishing boats, motorbikes, skateboards, food trucks, and actual circus caravans. From the streets of East Berlin, to the wild mushroom patch, to the orchestra, to the five star restaurants, Johannes Kroller always delivers.


We thought we knew what we were doing until we met Bill and Cathy Hodgkinson. If they don’t then no one does.

Bill and Cathy are the backbone of Alberta. Their busy lives are divided between their family and their farm. Their generosity and advice has given Shakti a strong foothold in the industry. They are an immense source of inspiration and the unquestioned last word on work ethics, practical knowledge and Jordan’s homework.

– It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock & roll.- AC/DC


The Wilkiest man alive.  Jim is the Yin and Yang of planting. In camp he’s the first guy to welcome newcomers. He pulls heartstrings with his choice musical ability and coins the phrases which raise crew spirit. In the field Jim is a workhorse, he’s all business. Legend has it that he finished a season with a broken wrist (shovel side), though it seems unlikely.

Ol’ Jimbo is a wily vet, a genuine good guy, and a true friend.

Jim resides in Kelowna in the off season.  He’s an avid snowboarder, a handyman and a seasoned traveler.


Whether he’s on the block, playing sports, playing Xbox, acing his classes or being the ever cool guy we know and love–well, Jordan’s got skills. Mad skills. Great job with the skills man.*

Jordan is wrapping up a science degree from U of A in Edmonton. Apparently he’s just stoked.


No need to ask for Pat’s help, just accept it. Pat will try any task, capable or not, he’ll try. He just assumes the role that others shy away from. He’s a silent politician in a game people are so frustrated with they don’t even care to watch.  I bet he’ll be prime minister by default. One day, you will show up to the ballot and suddenly realize you’re about to vote for Pat. You won’t have any choice. He’s the subsidy for our indecision. He’s the answer to problems we ignore. Pat’s the last line of defense in an otherwise reckless plan. Lots of room in the economy for people like Pat.

The guy who wrote the The Art of War was probably like Pat. And Lao Tzu?

The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name…  But really it’s Pat.


For three years now Ashley has been working with Shakti in endless rounds of meeting up, going to work, travelling around, working more, hanging out, meeting people, working again and travelling around.

You are an excellent travelling and working companion. One of the best I will ever know.

You are a reason we get up and do our work every day. You make it make sense. It’s been fantastic. The world is yours. Thanks for being Ashley.


Tree planting is a unique industry at the metaphiral and geographical fringe of society. Yet somehow, from his desk thousands of km away, Goran is able to see it through our eyes and actually solve some of our biggest challenges. What an awesome superpower to have. Always a joy to work with, we’ve learned immensely from Goran. He is a continuous source of wisdom and effective solutions.


Alright! Everybody… Step back!! Comin through, comin through, make room…. It’s Dom’s spot on the page, woohooo!!

Dom is here for – among many reasons – celebrity promotion. But also to warm your hearts to the thought that Dom IS out there, probably looking like this, and if you haven’t met her you’ll MAYBE get a chance.

She’s elusive to be sure. Never treading the same ground twice, or never… in quite the same way. A skidder driver once drove over his own Chevy trying to follow her because apparently she’d told him “what time it was.” Those who know her love her and follow her everywhere she goes.

Dominique has a ferocious work ethic and a certain awareness which is the envy of us all.


Jason Whelan is keen, honest and hard working. If you like getting stuff done, it’s fun working with Jason.

His crews are enormously productive. He’s run some of the most productive crews that I’ve ever heard of. He is always asking questions, he has a great attitude and he’s the first one ready when it’s time to go. His work ethic and enthusiasm are contagious.

This is a semi-permanent reference lasting for 12,000 years.


Taylor has a relentless work ethic that is unparalleled. Whether it is physical challenge or challenging his mind, he simply won’t quit. This is complemented by an enormously fun and positive attitude. Taylor has worked at Shakti in every capacity from tree planter through to supervisor and has a great capability for any of the tasks here. He writes proposals, fixes trucks, organizes helicopters, budgets, and can foreman a block like nobody’s business. Whatever Taylor puts his mind to, it’s going to be awesome. It’s exciting to think about that kind of potential and how it will transpire.


Cathy has always been a uber positive force for good at Shakti. It’s very intimidating to work along side tree planters as a newbie, Cathy certainly held her ground alright. At one stage she invented a new technique of picking pinecones which she used to pick some of the biggest days, ever. 28 buckets or 560 lbs of pinecones in one day!!! She’s done a number of different jobs for Shakti and always excelled. Thank you Cathy, you definitely helped make Shakti what it is.


Rohit’s work ethic, positivity and ability is inspiring to me and everyone who knows him. Not only is he one of the hardest workers I’ve ever met but he maintains this ‘can do’ enthusiasm that is contagious and inspiring. He is highly gifted with numbers and yet also thoughtful to understand the human element of any worthwhile problem. He also confidently steps out of his comfort zone, into new technologies and languages to solve problems and learn new things. These are absolutely the type of qualities we admire and aspire to.


Janelle is the kindest most thoughtful and generous people there could ever be, with a slight edge of wreckless humor that catches all by surprise. She is an absolute gem of a person, and of this, absolutely everyone agrees. Thank you so much for hanging with us. No pressure, but you can probably save humanity somehow.


They came, they busied themselves with everything you are supposed to and had a great time. I love you all and I want to be your contractor forever. That isn’t practical or even helpful really, but it’s just that I would. You make me want to do this forever. Some of the many things I liked about the 2012 majority (of production):

  • I like that you’re all really cool people.
  • You are nice to everybody and super helpful.
  • You work hard and play hard.
  • And you all have such different talents and interests yet you work so well together at these projects.

You’ve changed the way this company is run… mainly to accommodate yourselves. Shakti exists because of you. We did a ridiculous amount of work this year, more than twice what we expected. I’m humbled. Thank you. Chris


 Allegedly the child of Vikings, Carlie thankfully strayed from her predestined war path to choose, instead, the conquest of outdoor recreation. Her subsequent experiences with art, traveling, work and school are apparent. Any challenge before Carlie is approached with a certain style, competence and brute force that is uniquely her own. Carlie can be found between her home town of 100 Mile House and the rest of western Canada. She has a degree in forestry and outdoor recreation from Selkirk College. Her time is divided between various projects.


Andrea worked as the administrative ‘brainchild’ of Shakti over two years. She is a definitive character in Shakti’s organizational history. Andrea has an ability to make order of chaos, she is very selfless in nature, and has a keen sense of wellbeing for those around her. She is a super-pro big sister to her two cool younger siblings and this shines through in all else she does.


Russell unwittingly got himself hired as supervisor at Shakti, when he was 24 and had no experience or expectation to supervise anything. To this day that was one of the most cohesive and progressive crews I’ve ever seen. Thanks for the memories and stories and thanks to everyone on that crew or around that crew and during that whole era of time, it was so awesome. Russ was a big part of that. He’s a special guy, we all appreciate that.


Bilal Shah took Shakti’s mapping to the next level, introducing practical solutions that still pay off to this day. He is diligent, thoughtful, educated and always puts the task at hand above all else. He’s always there to help, and that is worth more than gold when you need it. Thanks for being there Bilal!


Cody takes truly amazing photos and does a lot of other amazing stuff…. Like the time he built that effigy the un-un-un-real solstice night at the river. There’s also a definite pride in their So Tight venture of clothing and Carlie’s Raven’s Roost Designs venture. It’s the best that can come of us, to see people be happy and do cool things. Cody brings a lot of that to his community.


Shamus brought a lot of inspiration to Shakti, before it began, and through until always. He makes hard work cool. He makes entrepreneurship and ambition something to celebrate and we owe a bunch of that inspiration to Shamus. Thank you so much for keeping us on track. Thanks for believing in Shakti and for all your inputs, in the field and in spirit. Shakti Power Shamus Finnegan.


Elder of the Loose MoFo School of Life and brother to a lot of us, Keeghan embodies a lot of Shakti. Some people just get it, and it stays with you, it’s yours, you make it cool. You’ve got that essential tree planter thing. Thanks for helping us not grow out of that. So thanks for bringing a lot of tree planter, and a lot of fun, and genuine concern for the us and our way of life.


Dan Wiens is a rock solid member of the tree planting-traveler genome. When it’s time for action he’s always down. Dan is gifted at fixing things and getting by. He’s kinda like Mad Max in a world with no violence and everyone is just touring around for fun. Dan was incredibly instrumental in the famed ‘Raft Trip’ and the Black Rock City 12 Hour Shower; stand alone accomplishments I will never, ever, forget.


Aaron is a super hard worker and has an awesome attitude. He is also hilarious and that gets Hall of Fame Big Ups. Half of us would not be out there if it weren’t for people like Aaron Roche keeping it funny. That’s a skill that should be celebrated in any workplace. So thanks for that and all your hard work!


Timmy planted here over a number of seasons and he is always a welcomed presence. He is one of those people who is a springboard for ideas and provides certain moral compass from which people make choices. Timmy was very helpful for everyone in this capacity as well as being a solid hard worker. Also we drifted down a river together, on a raft of plywood tied to empty fuel barrels, for two days, which was an outrageously epic trip.


Shauna worked at Shakti for several years as a tree planter, cone picker and worker liaison. Her head is in the game and her enthusiasm goes a long way in motivating management. It is critically important that people participate in an organization beyond their normal scope of responsibility. Cooperation between disciplines and asking bigger, tougher questions is the basis of what makes an organization or society thrive. Thanks for doing a great job Shauna


http://www.smoothmoves.ca Another Viking of hilarity, character and good nature. Lisa is also here just for being a pillar of her community, and for making things cool and fun and for doing the right things. Those are big time major Hall of Fame qualities. Thanks for being awesome!


Jessie Hannah worked at Shakti as the administrative manager for a while. Jessie has natural business sense and an intense desire to line up the ducks. It was a great experience to work with you, crush out paperwork and slam dunk numbers like that. You will keep being awesome at everything you do, no doubt….


Issa has a lot of guts and ambition, as well as being a very patient and kind person. I certainly admire his strength of conviction and positive willingness to endure the grit, mud, and snow that any worthwhile reforestation career will sling at you. Issa is among the tougher, braver, gentler people I know.


Sarah is one of the funniest and most engaging people I’ve ever met. She was a staple character of our community for years. Our world was small, and daily musings were blissfully simple, yet meant so much. Life at Shakti… wouldn’t be the same without you.


Some of the best workers sort of end up here by chance, and just think the whole thing is really funny. Which is great, I mean, that’s why I’m here. And when they apply themselves and it’s amazing what gets done. Carla makes it look easy and has fun doing it. Very fortunate to have worked with her. Thanks for being there. References and good will, wherever you go…


Cole worked here on an off for a few years. He supervised here for a while before going away to school. He’s a real good guy and… he can figure things out super fast. When you work with people a lot it’s a cool feeling when notice someone figuring things out at a rate that amazes. There were several moments like that with Cole. He has the smarts and determination to solve problems in a way that’s extremely admirable and useful. It will be cool to see how he uses it if he ever gets out of school. 


It’s very hard to have a lot of ambition and a lot of integrity; Andy does both very well. We have learned a lot from Andy and the guys at Outback, working through some of the toughest terrain imaginable. I’m certain it was a learning experience all around and created friendships that will endure.


Ron Sparrow is our all time rockstar consultant and general ecological advisor behind Shakti for quite some time. He’s who I ask when I’m ‘stumped.’ Ron gave Shakti a break when I was a fledgling contractor with a broke down truck and big dreams. We’ve been friends ever since. He’s a truly knowledgeable and respected member of the greater environmental restoration community and anyone is lucky to work with him.


Mark Lane is the founder of Little Smokey Forestry Services Ltd. The first time I met Mark, I was digging a pit, by myself, in the rain. He looked down at me and said only ‘it should be bigger.’ From that moment I became Mark’s most loyal planter, and enthusiastically carried out all his orders, to the point that it made people uncomfortable, but they got over it because it made so MUCH MONEY and I will brag about it FOREVER. The tree planting operation that Mark built, with all the ambition, business prowess and mechanical genius that it required, was slicker than any I’ve ever seen. For someone with a remarkably passive management presence and unassuming wit, his accomplishments are nothing short of amazing and his contribution to tree planting is incredibly understated. I am absolutely lucky to have worked with Mark, if only as a planter. To see what came of it check out: littlesmokey.ca & dreamcycle.ca


Several few years after Mark Lane became my unintended mentor, Brett arrived and became an unintended student in my Adopt a Rookie Foreman Program.

It was decided that Brett would be the foreman of my crew and went about teaching him where I want my boxes and pieces for Jim and our friends. As planting mythology would have it; Brett took over as owner Little Smoky from Mark after I left to start Shakti. Luckily, in hindsight I am now big enough to admit our success in those days was a lot of Brett’s doing. I’m super proud and amazed at what Brett’s done with the Little Smokey and the community of people around him.

I’m proud that Little Smokey has played such a big role in my life and vis versa. I am also extremely excited about the next chapter in this epic saga; of Mark, Chris, Brett, and Little Smokey. And thus, I will hereby memorialize; my version of reality.


Derrick is a modest, laid back, chill guy to most people, so he would never endorse my saying so, but, Derrick is the greatest tree planter ever. Certainly in sheer numbers, I doubt anyone in history, not in Canada, has pushed 5 million trees like he has. His impact is far greater if you count the number of people he inspired and taught: to plant more trees, to be a helpful and productive workers, and certainly to take life in stride. He’s a brute hard worker, but does so with calculated efficiency and good intent, and always gets the job done right. He’s had a profound effect on me and some of the highest producing crews in tree planting history. Derrick Weldon folks. Now you know.


Dylan has been a staple figure at Shakti since 2008 and he is a sound reason for our continued success. He has worked as a cone picker, cone foreman, tree planter, tree runner, and helped out in countless other practical ways.

Dylan is a kind, thoughtful person and has a certain detachment from his ego which is the envy of me and many other people. I don’t know a chiller, easier person to be around. I am extremely grateful for his presence over these years.


Revered for her strategic insight and leadership capacity; feared for her volatile temper and abuse of power. Chelsey is the natural generalissimo.

It is frightening how fast Chelsey picks up any job put before her. Some people got it, and some people got it!

Chelsey is finishing a science degree from U of A in Edmonton.


Conrad caught Shakti early on and offered a lot of support for me the company when I really needed it. Even to this day, I know he remains one of the behind-the-scenes people, who supports and spreads the love that Shakti extends to him. Conrad was a big time high baller during his time as a planter and he continues that same intense drive towards his music which is simply very very awesome. Check it out at https://wildways.bandcamp.com


Tree planting is fuelled by people like Craig Turney. For us it’s anything but a summer job. It’s so ridiculous we get to live like this, I mean what kind of incredible privilege, aside from very deliberate moments of poverty, allow us to plant trees, in camp, for a job… and then travel around wherever we want the rest of the time!?!?! It really the greatest thing ever. Craig does this really well.


Jarred is down for whatever. We know he is, cause you can literally call him right now and he’d be down for anything if you ask him right. That kind of loyalty in a friend is hard to find. He’s also funny and a great guy to hang out with. Thanks for all your dedication and hard work Jarred.


I was raised by a clown. It’s funny and it’s not a joke. I was literally raised, in large part by this clown – speaking in a clown’s voice – who taught me that people were clowns with makeup on.

It’s a huge advantage for a kid of any age to be able and see the world through Plella coloured lens. As helpful as anything I’ve learned.


Shawo “Tenpa” Tsering

Tenpa is as Shakti as it gets. His attitude is relentlessly positive and wise as it is human, comlex and nuanced. Shakti and Tenpa grew together and took on challenges well out of our respective comfort zones and learned to thrive in the myriad situations which we shared.  Thank you Tenpa buddy! It’s been a fantastic experience working with you.


Julia’s counterparts in university, on the planting block, playing water polo, or on any other competitive front, know a few things for certain. She’s always a pleasure to be around, always an unrelenting positive force–when she’s not busy dusting the floor with you. It’s not the kind of thing you soon forget.  Great to have you on the team.

Julia has a degree in political science from U of Guelph and divides her time between Canada and the rest of the world.


Nina is one of the people who makes sense to me and it’s very good to have those kinds of people around when you find them. Whatever it was with Nina it always seemed chill and reasonable to me. Some people share a kind of alternate language or understanding where, we could be wrong, but, it’s going to be alright.


George takes management to the level of our most esteemed highballers. That is an admirable achievement of any in this tree planting business. George is awesome because he’s smart, book smart and number smart, and he’s a very nice and good person. But also, not least least of all, he works relentlessly, blissfully, uncompromisingly hard working. There’s just one direction when you work that hard, and it’s wherever the fuck you want. Some people got it.


Greg likes living in the wilderness. To the point that I think he’s messing with us. But his commitment to nature is true, and the idea that we’re all a part of it.

He reminded us that generosity IS worth-while [he taught us from scratch]. If we ever did have to eat one of us (you know, for survival), his animal reincarnate would probably be the least likely to come back and maul us and yet the most capable of doing so. It’s good, you really don’t see that a lot. Or perhaps he’d reincarnate as one of those marsh birds that builds model homes out of reeds to impress their mates. Who would take the time? Greg as a Marsh Wren, that’s who.

He really breaks down the typecast that “gentleman” comes from the word “gentry”. He’s very considerate for someone that rough. That’s probably how Robin Hood got started


Andrew worked at Shakti in varying capacities over the last few years. I actually don’t know Andy that well, as we didn’t often cross paths somehow, but he’s hilarious with an awesome attitude and huge smile… which alone gets him on the Hall of Fame! Planet earth definitely needs people like that.


Brian works hard with the best of them and is always upbeat despite the toughest adversity. Add to that a sense of humour of the highest calibre and you have a true Shakti legend. From our earliest days and through the steepest growth, Brian is an extremely loyal and dedicated worker who teaches us a lot about living in the moment while respecting the future.

He’s a living example of what he wants to be. Makin Money, havin fun. Top class.


Despite his relatively short stint working at Shakti, QC is a strong part of the community. He is thoughtful, kind and helps us wherever he can, with a good set of ears, insight, wisdom, and a big heart. Thanks for being there.


Caught between the forces of good and evil, this writer by nature is forced into a literary battle to save the Universe.

Mike has an unmatched sense of wit and satire with an ever keen eye for human behaviour. He also seems to have a unique tolerance over physical elements and can win a mean food fight… The good fight.

Mike has a degree in English Lit. from the University of Waterloo.  Mike too has developed a taste for traveling the Rock. This is the only known picture of Mike in existence.


Curtis rose steadily through the ranks at Shakti and his status is well deserved. He is incredibly nice and caring and thoughtful. To the point I thought he was pulling my leg at first. It’s a bit hard to process when someone is that genuine and thoughtful. It serves us all well. Keep up the good work, in any capacity. Whatever you do.

*    Chris > Jordan


**  Stephan has planted well over 7 million trees.


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